Magnificent Birds of Prey – Kaleidoscope

Magnificent Birds of Prey – Kaleidoscope

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Magnificent Birds of Prey just released the latest effort entitled Kaleidoscope. How would one describe their overall sound? Moe on this in a minute. Formed in 2012, (Philadelphia) MBOP self-produced & released two EP’s, played over 50 shows spanning across 4 states and won Gashouse Radio’s Tournament of Champions award within their first two years. The band’s raw approach and passion for entertaining translates in both their high-energy live shows and recordings. There is also a deep sense of care and loyalty that can be felt; for each other, their music, and humanity in general – the band matches 100% of every dollar they make in support of Fender Music Foundation, autism awareness and many different animal rights organizations. Band members include: Carl Kunz Jr. (Guitar / Vocals), Chris LaFrancis (Bass, Synths, Backing Vocals), Joel Adams (Drums & Percussion) and Lyle Kelch Jr. (Vocals / Guitar).

Stocked full of hooks and a rocked out playing style that never lets it’s guard down, to melodies which linger long after the playing has passed, Kaleidoscope provides eleven buoyant and inventive tracks which play like new adventures, yet approaches them like old friends you feel you’ve known for a long time. This latest release embraces the ears and is in a league all by itself with an elite spirit of eagerness and vibrancy. The unique melodies soak every accomplished note from the beginning of lead off track “Sticks and Stones” through to climactic end of “Lullaby” it offers many musical familiarities, wearing those inspirations proudly on its sleeve showcasing eclectic musical influences hinged on impressive musicianship and a unique signature sound.  Case in point: This is one of the most original sounding rock bands I’ve heard in quite some time. I can hear traces of Pearl Jam, Boston Spaceships, Robert Pollard, Pavement and Archers of Loaf. Mostly they sound like Sebadoh and Pearl Jam hybrid. It’s fair to say that the CD does not come down from the high of Track 2 “Icon” and hypnotic Track 3 “Can’t Wash My Soul.” Though it certainly provides a consistent balance of genres listed above. As the CD slowly advances the melodies, addictive hooks return sporadically from time to time with a beckoning potency far away from the mediocre mainstream. Bottom line: there’s something much more tangible about this release compared to most of the CD’s that slide across my desk this year. All tracks emerge from a modest sonic web producing much in the way of thick bass lines, jumpy guitar and impressive vocals and harmonies.  The instruments, and subsequent meticulous movements provided by this experienced band will leave their mark on you instinctually and inspire the imagination. Kunz’s voice does not jump out but has a modest quality which defines itself and work well within the setting of each piece. His mesmerizing baritone coupled with the acoustical exuberance paints you an impressive picture upon a virulent musical canvas. My favorite track is probably “Writing Everything Away.” Another interminably seductive piece offering waning poetic ambience and sure musical direction is “Collide O’ Scope.” Though maybe this is one song which fails to linger and return like the others, but is a riveting tidbit nonetheless and for some reason I really like it.

Kaleidoscope by Magnificent Birds of Prey is a good listen any way you slice it. It’s a ripe musical invitation into the world of a red hot band from Philadelphia. Although they officially hail from there I might add they were formed by friends from Philadelphia, New Jersey & Pittsburgh; the sound of the Northeast exports, Magnificent Birds of Prey reflects the loud, dirty and addictive nature of their respective suburbs, set to the heartbeat of the City of Brotherly Love. At the least it will satisfy many, thus filling the void left by millions of band who cannot dive this deep – not even close. This outlier style of music is not only mastered by these cats it also deserves a much wider and attentive audience to say the least..

Score: 8/10 

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Erica Reid